I’m back!

‘Forgive me Father, for I have sinned; it’s been nine days since my last post.’

Unbelievable.  I certainly did not intend such a chasmic absence however it became unavoidable.  As some of you are aware, I have a new job and it involves travel and so since my last post I have been cruising to Far North Queensland on P&O’s Pacific Dawn.  My working hours were longer than I expected and internet access was intermittent and via satellite which is certainly slower and less available than what I’m used to.  The internet was also only available in public areas and not in our cabins which added to my inability to be on-line while away.

P&O Pacific Dawn

P&O Pacific Dawn

But despite the hard work and a forced absence from you, I loved my mini-break and had a great experience on P&O’s Pacific Dawn.  There were a dozen of us on this job amongst the two thousand passengers and we boarded the ship as strangers but quickly became fast friends who shared a tonne of laughs and many good times.  The greatest testimony of this was Martyn, who actually had quite a lot of sickness during the cruise and said, ‘If I had to do this all over again, I would do it with the exact same people’.  And we all echoed those sentiments.

A beautiful sunny day on Pacific Dawn

A beautiful sunny day on Pacific Dawn


Sunset on the Whitsundays

Have you ever been away with people you have never met and had to work with them 12 hours a day and then share every meal with them and have them rooming just down the corridor from you?  If you are in that situation you do want to make sure you’re with like-minded people you can get along with and I was in that very fortunate position.  It was hugs and kisses when we all had to farewell each other at the end of the cruise.

A pleasant way to spend the day

A pleasant way to spend the day


Hard at work

Just so hard at work

We cruised to Far North Queensland stopping at Airlie Beach where we boarded a catamaran and roared out to sea for Knuckle Reef passing by luxury resorts like Hayman Island until we were no longer in sight of land.  We pushed on for two and a half hours and finally arrived at a pontoon on Knuckle Reef.  We were now at the Outer Reef and for 360 degrees around us there was no sight of land.  We went snorkeling in the pristine aqua water that had some of the most spectacular coral I have ever seen and so many varieties of fish that were in every colour of the rainbow.  I didn’t see turtles or reef sharks but I did see an enormous Maori Wrasse that seemed very tame and it swam alongside us and wanted to be patted like it was a dog.  It was slimy!

Knuckle Reef

Knuckle Reef with the pontoon in the middle of nowhere

As we were leaving Knuckle Reef I saw a tin dwelling on the pontoon and a couple standing beside it waving us farewell.  I discovered they actually live on the pontoon!  As beautiful and as picturesque as Knuckle Reef is, I could never imagine living in such isolation and being in an environment where you weren’t on land; you just had a man-made pontoon to dwell on and a lot of water around you.  And we’re coming into cyclone season!

Heading back to the ship

Heading back to the ship

A couple of days later the ship anchored off Port Douglas.  We boarded a tender boat and went ashore for a day exploring the Daintree Rainforest and Mossman Gorge.  It was a very hot and sticky day and so a freshwater swim in crystal clear water was very welcoming.

Four-Mile Beach, Port Douglas

Four-Mile Beach, Port Douglas

Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge

Sunset at Port Douglas

Sunset at Port Douglas

That night was the second-last night of the cruise and our last day of scheduled work so after dinner we went out partying.  These are two of the people I cruised with.  They are not actual ‘Officers’, they merely dressed up that night and had a lot of passengers fooled.

What is the appropriate caption for this photo?

I am sure it’s not, ‘I already have my shoes under their bed’.  I think I’ll go with, ‘Being sandwiched between ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’ is not a bad thing!’

The Officer and the Gentleman

The Officer and the Gentleman

And so now I must press ‘publish’ and I look forward to catching up with all over the next few days.

If you liked this post, why not like me!




  1. So – it looks like you’ve been dong it pretty tough. Not. the cruise looks wonderful – and a cruise is on my bucket list!

  2. What a lovely trip! I am dying to go on a cruise one of these days, it looks so blissful 🙂

  3. Welcome back, I missed you! And what kind of job has you out on a ship, frolicking on remote reefs and partying it up with those handsome officers? Or better question, how can I get in on it? It’s pouring rain this morning but I guess it’s better than snow! Your weather looks phenomenal.
    PS. I actually prefer your first caption 😉

  4. It looks like you’ve been having a grand time Charlie! Not a bad line of work to be in at all. 🙂 Can’t wait to hear more about it. Welcome back!

  5. I wouldn’t mind a job like that! Looks like you had a fab time; can’t wait to hear more! Welcome back xxx

  6. What a job! I’ve never been on a cruise and have always been worried that I’d eat too much. And despite missing you in the blogosphere, it’s so hard to keep up with all the reading that it’s a gift to readers also.

  7. Oh-ho, what a wonderful job! I’m clearly looking in the wrong area over here in Toronto; none of the job boards I’ve been scouring have offered up anything like cruise! 😉

    Lovely to hear from you again, dear Charlie!

  8. I also would love to know what your job is. It looks like one big holiday but I’m sure it wasn’t. Great photos.

  9. I am jealous!!! As I know exactly how good your trip would have been. Funny I was just reading over all my Pacific Dawn stories this morning because a friend is doing a ten day trip from Sydney to Vanuatu.
    …But I love Port Douglas and Mosman Gorge too, so beautiful.

    I will have to cruise again soon!

  10. Nice to have you back! What a job! This looked absolutely wonderful!

  11. What an awesome job you have, what do you do if you don’t me asking just being nosey lol.

  12. Nice to have you back! Sounds like you’ve had the most fabulous time! 🙂

  13. Awesome to have you back my friend and don’t apologize for life (which seems like a blast for you 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  14. What a terrible job- tearing you from the bosom of your family for days, having someone cook and clean for you, visiting exotic locations, meeting such handsome men….. Can I come too?

  15. What a heavenly cruise! and you look so relaxed and at home. All absences are forgiven instantly.

  16. What very hard work, but someone has to do it! So glad you also had fun. GG

  17. Looks like hard ‘work’ to me Charlie! Welcome home x

  18. Life can be so tough sometimes! Port Douglas is one of my favourtie holiday destinations and try and get up there as often as possible. My great fear (and why I have resisted a cruise for so long) is my sea sickness would ruin any cruise holiday. I am even sea sick on the big catamarans going out to the reefs. Looks like you had a good time even though you had to work.

  19. Congratulations on the new job! 🙂 Love that you’ve been able to travel in between and go on some cruises. Look at that last photo with the sailors, oh hellllllllloooooooooooooooooooooo 😉

  20. I’m curious about the job also and about how your family survived without you.

  21. Welcome back! But sometimes it’s good to take a break and come back refreshed!

  22. We missed you! Whatever did your children eat while you were away?:) Congratulations on such an awesome new job. Cannot wait to see what you have in store for us next. And yes – we did notice you standing on your tippie toes.

  23. Welcome back! Sounds like a very nice working vacation! Hope your house was in one piece when you returned. Missed you! XO

  24. If you were going to be absent for a while, you certainly did it with a stellar reason for the absence 🙂 What a great trip – and what a great opportunity for work! – and what gorgeous photos you have brought back. I have been to Port Douglas, but that’s my only experience of far north Queensland. I found it beautiful but agree I wouldn’t want to live on a pontoon in the ocean!

  25. Welcome back Charlie 🙂 I have missed you and your posts! What an amazing post to come back with! I love all the photos and it seems like the weather was perfect too 😀

    Oh gosh how much I wish I can go on a cruise trip now! Its been quite a few years since I’ve had that opportunity ~

    WOW i’ve never worked with people that I have just met, go on a cruise and shared every meal with them hehe 😀

    Take care and don’t work yourself too hard xox

    Ps. I got your Xmas card thank you!!!

  26. So nice to see your smiling face. How can I be the only one who didn’t know you were on a boat until I got your email? What a job! You lucky thing. 🙂

  27. I’m sure there must have been work involved somehow, but I don’t see it in your post. Sounds like nice work if you can get it! Missed your blog while you were “working.”

  28. Welcome back! It sounds like you’ve had a marvelous adventure and it isn’t difficult at all for me to imagine you with a whole cruise ship full of new friends! This sounds like a great new job, Charlie, but you were indeed missed! 🙂

  29. Welcome back Charlie! Sounds like you had a marvellous time 😀 It’s wonderful when everyone gets on well isn’t it?

  30. How nice that you’ve had a break. No teenagers out there Charlie! I could really do with a cruise and a teen break

  31. Welcome back, Charlie! Now this sounds like my kind of job! So glad that you found such a great group with which to work, too. I imagine that, no matter where you sailed, if your co-workers weren’t of the same mind, the experience would have been something entirely different. But they weren’t and good for you!

  32. Welcome back … and the job seems so excruciating … but I’m glad you were able to meet the challenge!

    Oh … something tells me this was your first cruise!

  33. What a lovely work environment! A few days away is good for us all from time to time — good to see you back too. 🙂

  34. Oh you have me excited. Nice work if you can get it. We are heading to nz via p&o in January. That offer of a coffee is still open in January.

  35. What a brilliant way to have to go to work lol. Looks like a fabulous time hun. I have never been on a cruise but looking at those officers I am starting to rethink my decision haha xx

  36. I’ve been absent from blogging for a while too, I try to keep it going though!!
    I definitely want to go on a cruise some time in the future, looks like so much fun!

  37. Re the shoes under the bed comment… You are just too funny Charlie. We’ve missed you and I’m sure Alfie has too. No wonder he’s looking a bit thin and gaunt and his pants keep falling down!

  38. Wow! Sounds like a great new job! How fun and beautiful! I’m so glad it was a good experience. Working on staff at a summer camp sounds kind of like your experience – living and working closely with people you barely know…who you come to love! I met my husband that way!

  39. Looks like a wonderful cruise and so much fun! Great pictures! Welcome back!

  40. Wow! I love your job! 😉

  41. It sounds like you found a job that all of us wish we had…even though we don’t know what it is.

  42. Sweet job!!!

  43. The images and colors make me want to hop on a plane your way!!

  44. What a top job! If you ever need a lowly, humble and hard-working assistant, do not hesitate to call!

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